The MSc in Bioarchaeology provides advanced training in human osteoarchaeology (from both a research and commercial perspective) coupled with an unparallelled access to training in the study of ancient biomolecules through access to world-class facilities at the BioArCh centre (stable isotopes, lipid residue analysis, palaeoproteomics) and the Department of Biology (ancient DNA).
Uniquely, students can combine bioarchaeology with a range of subjects and tailor their degree towards their own interests. These could include a 'period' focus, for example, to specialise in the bioarchaeology of the Medieval, Vikings, Mesolithic or early prehistoric periods. Alternatively, human bioarchaeology can be combined with zooarchaeology and orientated towards more advanced studies of bone function and anatomy by taking modules at the medical school in Hard Tissue Biology and/or Functional and Musculoskeletal Anatomy.
Students will join a motivated team of post-graduate researchers based primarily at the BioArCh centre, but will have the opportunity to carry out projects with archaeologists at King's Manor and researchers in Biology, Environment and at the Hull-York Medical School, under the umbrella of the new inter-diciplinary centre, Palaeo: Centre for Human Palaeoecology & Evolutionary Origins.
The MSc in Bioarchaeology benefits from its twin locations in the Kings Manor and S-Block, our campus-based science facility:
The King's Manor houses specialist laboratories for:
Osteology teaching laboratory:
S-Block and our BioArCh laboratories offer:
The following range of facilities is available for all students undertaking an Archaeology Masters programme:
Over the autumn and spring terms you will take:
In the summer you will carry out research for your dissertation and give an Assessed Lecture on your dissertation topic.
Whilst we endeavour to give everyone their first choice on modules, please note that this cannot always be guaranteed. Please be aware that certain skills modules are required by particular programmes, and so may be more over-subscribed than others. Please see the Full modules list for scheduling information on option and skills modules, as some run concurrently.
First, check our How to apply page, which explains what information the Department needs from you.
Molecular methods are increasingly widely used in archaeology, but the range of osteological and molecular skills means that the course is suitable for a wide range of careers.
By the end of the course you will:
- be able to identify and record human bone assemblages
- be able to age, sex and assess pathologies from human bones
- have knowledge of advanced methods for analysis of bone tissues, including biomolecular methods
- know when to apply chemical and biomolecular methods to skeletal material
- have knowledge of the processes of decay and diagenesis of bone tissue
- be able to critically evaluate published research and datasets
- be able to orally present knowledge and concepts
- be able to work effectively within an laboratory environment
- be able to plan, design and undertake a piece of independent research
- have participated in research seminar and visiting speakers programmes (archaeology and biology
During my project, I studied burials from Herculaneum and gained experience of stable isotope and amino acid analysis as well as protein mass spectrometry